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Museum to host free talks on civil rights leader and WW2

16 August 2016

The Tower Museum will host two free talks on the city’s history on Friday 19th August at 12.00pm. One will discuss the city’s most well-known leaders of the civil rights movement, Bridget Bond and the other will explore how people living here experienced the Second World War.

The talks will be presented by two of the museum’s current placement students, Julia Robinson and Sarah Jones, both studying Library and Information Science at the University of California in Los Angeles. As part of their studies, they have been conducting research on the Museum’s archival collections.

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock encouraged people to come along, ‘I’d encourage anyone interested in the history of the city or in understanding how archivists work with their collections, to come along to these talks.

‘The city is rich in cultural heritage, which is one of many reasons I’m sure the girls have chosen to here to complete their placement work. There is a wealth of historical information and artefacts at the museum.

‘These talks are free and a great opportunity for visitors and residents to learn about Bridget Bond, one of the most well-known leaders in the civil rights movement, who strove to secure equal housing and employment for those living in the city. The collection contains meeting minutes from Bridget’s time in the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (N.I.C.R.A), as well as personal notes, commemorative flyers, and much more.

‘The second talk on how the people of the city lived throughout the Second World War will feature a handful of different collections from the museums archives based on the War Memorial and Gerard Cunningham collections. This will offer a glimpse into our military contributions to the war and the daily life of our civilian population, including artefacts from a royal visit to the city in 1945.’

Sarah Jones presenting the talk on Bridget Bond added, “Bridget’s work is inspiring, and her collection really gives a glimpse into the struggle for civil rights.

‘As a student from California, it is particularly interesting to research and discover the exceptional items in this collection. The contents really tell of her effort and support for those in need. It is truly inspiring, and I believe it is part of history that is uniquely important.’

Julia Robinson, who is presenting the second talk said, ‘I love looking at multiple collections the way a researcher would because it really gives you a sense of the larger picture.

‘These collections, particularly the War Memorial collection, have a wealth of detailed information on everything, from where soldiers from Derry served, to what local people thought of German propaganda in 1943 and whether or not there would be enough turkeys available for Christmas! They paint a fascinating picture of how the city experienced the war.’

Both talks will be held at the Tower Museum on Friday, 19th August, at 12.00pm and are free of charge. For more information contact the Tower Museum on 028 7137 2411 or email [email protected]. Further details on the Tower Museum and its upcoming events can be found at www.derrystrabane.com.